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Hope for Iannelli Studio?
Park Ridge

The home and studio of famed sculptor Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965) may have received a stay of execution in January, when a donor offered a challenge grant to help purchase the pair of threatened buildings.


The anonymous donor has proposed donating up to $200,000—at a rate of $1 for every $2 that the nonprofit Kalo Foundation raises to purchase and restore the historic property. Meanwhile, another sale is currently pending with a developer who has proposed constructing four two-story townhouses on the site. However, that project requires a zoning change.


Iannelli and his artist wife Margaret bought the home and former blacksmith shop in 1919, establishing one of the region’s most famous—and successful—commercial art firms. The studio, which operated for more than four decades, was “the place where Chicago’s creative architecture found its art,” according to historian Tim Samuelson, who says the site is integral to the design roots of American Modernism.


At this location (225 N. Northwest Highway), Iannelli produced innovative sculptures in collaboration with such architects as Barry Byrne, Purcell & Elmslie, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He and his studio assistants, which included Ruth Blackwell, Bruce Goff, and Edgar Miller, also produced a wide range of other designs, including advertising, architectural interiors, and industrial products.


The goal of the Kalo Foundation is to save and restore the home and studio as a museum of local art history. To learn more …










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